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Time spent on work-related activities, social activities and time pressure as intermediary determinants of health disparities among elderly women and men in 5 European countries: a structural equation model

Adjei, Nicholas Kofi and Russell Jonsson, Kenisha and Brand, Tilman (2018) 'Time spent on work-related activities, social activities and time pressure as intermediary determinants of health disparities among elderly women and men in 5 European countries: a structural equation model.' International Journal for Equity in Health, 17 (1). ISSN 1475-9276

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Abstract

Background Psychosocial factors shape the health of older adults through complex inter-relating pathways. Besides socioeconomic factors, time use activities may explain gender inequality in self-reported health. This study investigated the role of work-related and social time use activities as determinants of health in old age. Specifically, we analysed whether the impact of stress in terms of time pressure on health mediated the relationship between work-related time use activities (i.e. housework and paid work) on self-reported health. Methods We applied structural equation models and a maximum-likelihood function to estimate the direct and indirect effects of psychosocial factors on health using pooled data from the Multinational Time Use Study on 11,168 men and 14,295 women aged 65+ from Italy, Spain, UK, France and the Netherlands. Results The fit indices for the conceptual model indicated an acceptable fit for both men and women. The results showed that socioeconomic status (SES), demographic factors, stress and work-related time use activities after retirement had a significant direct influence on self-reported health among the elderly, but the magnitude of the effects varied by gender. Social activities had a positive impact on self-reported health but had no significant impact on stress among older men and women. The indirect standardized effects of work-related activities on self-reported health was statistically significant for housework (β = − 0.006; P < 0.001 among men and β = − 0.008; P < 0.001 among women) and paid work (β = 0.012; P < 0.01 among men and β = 0.000; P > 0.05 among women), which implied that the paths from paid work and housework on self-reported health via stress (mediator) was very weak because their indirect effects were close to zero. Conclusions Our findings suggest that although stress in terms of time pressure has a direct negative effect on health, it does not indirectly influence the positive effects of work-related time use activities on self-reported health among elderly men and women. The results support the time availability hypothesis that the elderly may not have the same time pressure as younger adults after retirement.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Psychosocial factors; Self-reported health; Gender; Elderly; Time-use activities; Stress
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2018 08:40
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2018 08:40
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/22895

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